Girls soccer: Libertyville shuts down Buffalo Grove to advance
Hydration was of utter importance with the heat and humidity on the turf Tuesday.
Paige Gleason ended up with the game-winning goal that gave top-seeded Libertyville a 1-0 victory over No. 5 Buffalo Grove in a Class 3A sectional semifinal girls soccer game.
"One of our coaches mentioned to put half our Gatorade into a bottle and the other half with water," Gleason said. "I had three of those before the game and some (Monday) night. You just want to keep hydrated with the heat right now. It was weird coming from like 50 degrees a couple of weeks ago to where we are now."
It was a heated battle on both sides throughout the match as each team had opportunities to score and each one hit a shot off the crossbar.
But in the 76th minute, Libertyville (15-1) found its best chance when Gleason took a touch from Payton Nolan and scored her sixth goal this season.
"It did take a weird bounce and I was able to get my foot around it," Gleason said. "It was a fortunate time to get it. Honestly, we were lucky to get that to go in."
Defensively, Illinois recruit Lauren Milz lead the Wildcats' back line that had a strong defensive effort. That line included Riley Brennan, Stella Bechtold, Julia Hazen, Addie Whisenand and keeper Hannah Virth (3 saves).
"It was pretty tough out there. The most important thing was to stay calm," Milz said. 'You just have to head up and keep going, We had a lot of communication back there and tried to stay connected."
Libertyville was ready for the heated battle and knew that Buffalo Grove (11-6-3) would be a good matchup.
"Very tough battle and I think the heat was big," Libertyville coach Daniel De Paz said. "Without the heat, it might have been a totally different game. Both teams were pretty affected by it. We tried to get get hydrated well before the game. I didn't realize it would be this hot and muggy. I thought it had a big impact on both teams out here."
Buffalo Grove had a great season with 10 seniors leading the way, and the Bison played without starter and Illinois recruit Alyssa Weede.
"Both teams gave full effort and both teams have good talents," Buffalo Grove coach Pat Dudle said. "Libertyville put away their chance. That's the name of the game. Our seniors have been fantastic. It's one of the best groups I've had in my tenure. Very talented and a great demeanor on and off the field."
Libertyville will host No. 3 seed Stevenson (15-3-1) on Friday for the sectional title. The Patriots shutout No. 2 Warren (15-2-3) 4-0 on Tuesday.